How to Get Baby to Sleep in Her Crib?

Updated on December 02, 2010
C.P. asks from Ludington, MI
10 answers

Hey everyone,
Thanks in advance for always giving great advice. My 6 month old daughter will NOT sleep in her crib. So far she has been sleeping with me in bed. I know that's not the best place for a baby to sleep so please don't tell me about that, however, my fiance and I want our bed we are trying to get her to sleep in her own crib through the night. I really hate the "crying it out" thing and am looking for another method that will work. Even if we wait for her to get into a deep sleep and then try to lay her in her crib she wakes up almost instantly 95% of the time. Please help. Thanks again.

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answers from Redding on

Your baby is used to sleeping with you and I hate to tell you this, but there is going to be crying involved when you try to change that.
Have you tried getting her used to her crib during the day? I don't mean leaving her in there, but when you go to the bathroom, lay her down. When you get out of the shower and get dressed, lay her down. She may cry, but you can call out to her that you hear her and you'll be right there. She won't understand your words, but it's the tone of your voice. Her crib is a happy place. It's okay.
You might need to try putting her down before she's in a deep sleep and rubbing her back and humming to her. She may fuss a bit, but it's not torturing her.
When I had my first baby, there wasn't really a term "cry it out". There was no stigma or guilt associated with knowing that babies cry. My kids would literally sleep anywhere because I got them used to being in different places, especially in their cribs. That's not to say we never cuddled or they didn't sleep with me sometimes, but they were comfortable sleeping by themselves. It takes a little time. My daughter loved cuddling, but when it came to sleeping, she was much happier sleeping by herself. My son could fall asleep getting his diaper changed.
Just ease your baby into getting used to laying down other places so that they feel familiar to her and again, don't wait for her to be sound asleep to lay her down. That will startle her and she will cry.
A little crying isn't a bad thing though. It really isn't.

I wish you the best!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Get a flannel sheet and use a heating pad to warm up the mattress just before putting baby down. You can also use a flaxseed pillow heated in the microwave. It's just enough to warm up the bed so they aren't going from soft, warm arms to a hard, cold mattress. (you of course take the heat source out and make sure to check that matress isn't too warm). Also, I agree with those who have said put baby down awake, from the get go. Our daughter never slept well period, and constantly fell asleep at breast, so when she fell asleep sometimes I would just sleep in the rocker to get some preious sleepfor myself. Broke her habit at 10 months with two nights of cry it out. Hardest thing, but she started sleeping through the night at 10 months, finally! Hopefully, I'll learn from my mistakes on the second one :). Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Panama City on

That was one of the worst things I hated doing when my children were babies, so my heart goes out for you. But the only sure thing you can do is put her in the crib and let her cry it out. I know that's not what you want to hear, but something that made it easier for me is finding out how much the crying actually helps their lungs! I promise you just give it 1 week and by the end of the week you will be amazed. Just stay consistent, put her down at the same time every single night and pretty soon she will just start falling asleep at that time ever night. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

She wakes up in the crib because the last thing she remembers before falling asleep is you. My DD was the same way even though we didn't cosleep-she fell asleep and would suckle forever on me and I was afraid to unlatch her while she was still partially awake to transition her. I too though--wait till she is in a real deep sleep--WRONG--my breast was her sleep prop:) I used the Baby Whisperer method--does the baby cry some--yeah but you are in the room with her and you are slowly guiding her to make new sleep associations. I think it is a fair method for mommy and baby--mommies need their rest and privacy god forbid! and babies that only know one thing (cosleeping) deserve some time and patience to transition to a new routine instead of "tough luck--cry it out" Google Baby Whisperer--it recommends a Eat -Activity-Sleep schedule where you feed the baby when they wake, not to put them to bed. Made of world of difference for me and my DD. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I don't want to be doom and gloom, but if you're afraid of letting her cry a little, then you'll have her in your bed for a LOT longer - I know people who sleep with their 5 year olds for the same reason! She can handle some crying, its not damaging to her. Have you really researched the cry it out method or does it just sound bad? Be sure you're not throwing this method out the window due to unrealistic fears.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

At that age, I was still able to swaddle. Could you try that? It's comforting. I also used a Cuski (safe lightweight "lovey" that you sleep with to get your scent on, then put in crib) and a Gentle Giraffe from Cloud B (there is a travel one that you can velcro to the crib). I suggest introducing similar comfort items while she sleeps with you and slowly creating distance between you and her (hope you have a big bed!) so she gets closer to being "on her own", then try putting her in the crib with those new comfort items. Also, definitely start a sleep routing so she starts to relax and associate sleep time with the routine. Another thing I did was take a crib wedge and place it in the crib in such a way that the crib sleep area was cut in half. Somme babies like closeness and a big crib is too much for them.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

That's a tough one. It really is OK that you have had her in bed with you! I don't think babies like to sleep alone..adults don't, yet so many adults banish poor little ones to their cribs alone! We had our three girls in and out of our bed for years. Anyway, that said, you might try putting a heating pad under her sheet, warm up the bed, TURN OFF THE HEATING PAD and then put her in. I had one(#3 daughter) who would wake up every time I put her in her bed and I found out she was hitting those cold sheets and waking up. You also might try swaddling her in a blanket, sometimes they feel like they are in the wide open space. I agree with not liking the cry it out....good going!


answers from San Francisco on

Let me tell you a litte bit of how I did it with my 15 month old (7 months then). I started by putting one of shirts or small blanket that I slept with. I would put it next time so that he can get use to sleeping with it while still sleeping in bed with us. Then I tried to do it in his crib, put he refused to do it. So my last choice was to let him cry it out, I was really against CIO, but I really wanted my bed back, I had a backache almost every day, and I also thought of how his would help him be "more independent", that in the long run, this was gonna be all worth it. I thought of how my cousin's 2 1/2 year old still has to be rocked to sleep and can't sleep by himself in his bed unless he's in a very deep sleep.
To make the long story short, I let him cry it out...yeah, I know, it sounds very cruel, but all I kept thinking to myself is how this is going to benefit him when he gets older. 1st, I found a lovey, and woud use it to nurse him, to sleep with and would go almost everywhere with it. Now that I got that down, 2nd-it was time to try it out. I put him in his crib, and sat next to him the whole time, it was a very hard task. I held my tears and feelings, because as we all know, babies feel your feelings. He cried/screamed for 1 hour, then he moved up, down, side to side and put himself to sleep in 30 minutes. The second night, I still stayed by his crib, he cried for 30 minutes. The 3rd night, he cried for 15 minutes, until day 5 that he didnt cry at all, but just kept moving around his crib for 10 mnutes until he would fall asleep on his own. And now that he's 15 months old, I gotta say that, that whole week of training was the hardest of my life. But it was all worth it, because 1 he doesnt remember at all 2 he soothes himself to sleep in his crib, I dont have to go to sleep with him on my bed anymore 3 We have our bed back and 4, no backaches, no face numbness, no more worries.
Good luck, and whatever you decide to do, make sure it's the right decision, not just for you and your husband but also for your baby. And if you do plan to let her CIO, then be positive that is what you want and try not to show any sadness or anger to your baby girl, becuase she can feel it and it's going to be evern harder for both of you. Im sure you'll do just fine. Good luck



answers from Gainesville on

Here's my record-2 babies, 2 babies that co-slept at one time or another, 2 babies exclusively breastfed, 2 babies that I *taught* how to sleep without leaving them to cry it out and make myself crazy.

Cry it out is not the only for sure thing you can do. There are definitely kinder and more gentle was to teach an infant to sleep. CIO does not teach a baby to sleep but it does flood their system with stress hormones, raise their blood pressure and teach them that the routine they knew is suddenly gone and I guess I'll cry till I'm exhausted and that's they way it's going to be. Not the kind of nights I want for me or more importantly, my infant.

I highly, highly recommend:
Dr. Sears Baby Sleep Book
The Baby Whisperer
The No-Cry Sleep Solution

It may seem daunting to read 3 books *but* when you better understand infant sleep you can better teach your little one *how* to sleep. I was able to use all 3 books to glean info, tips and tricks to come up with a sleep plan.

Do know that if you breastfeed, not all breastfed babies will sleep thru the night consistently. Some don't till they are weaned. My first was a champ. My second did ok but not like her brother but all babies are different.

I agree with warming the spot where she will sleep. That helped my second. I had forgotten about that.

I also held baby very, very close once they were out and stayed really close till I got them on the mattress to help prevent that falling feeling when I was laying them down.


answers from Detroit on

Our son slept in a swing (not moving) until he was 8mos old... And in my room. My daughter slept in her playpen in the same room with me until she was almost a yr old. Neither had to CIO... But with my son, I'd have to stand next to his crib and rub his back until he went to sleep... For the first week give or take a day. You don't have to do CIO method to get them in the crib. You just have to have some patience.

My little tidbit though... Try a pack n play in your room for a bit, then move it a little further away from you each week until it's right next to her crib... Then put her into the crib. If you need to stand there for a few minutes, it's better than not having your bed to yourself...

Good luck!

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